Before I contacted Jason Hayes, part owner and Vice President of the Tompkins/Hayes family of Galveston Cruise Parking facilities and businesses, I thought this would be a straightforward story about a family business providing a much-needed service to Galveston Island Cruisers.
It was much more than that.
I’m happy to say that I have learned so much more about the Cruise Parking Industry than I ever thought could exist. And I can also sincerely say that in the future, I would gladly use the EZ Cruise Parking, Port Parking, Patriot Parking and their other services for my own cruise parking needs for the reasons that I am pleased to share with you
today. I encourage you to embark on an extensive journey with me into the nuances of cruise parking, that thankfully should only take about 2-3 minutes of your time.
A Family of Cruisers
Jason Hayes and Cynthia Tompkins established EZ Cruise Parking in 2003. As the business developed, it expanded to include additional family members. Keisha, now Jason's wife, and Charles Tompkins, who later married Cynthia, joined the enterprise.
In recent years, brothers Zeb Hayes, Zekiel Hayes, and close family friend Gino Vaiani have become integral members of the team. They are significantly involved in the daily operations of Ez Cruise Parking, Port Parking and Patriot Cruise Parking, contributing to the company's ongoing success.
Beginning with 220 parking places in 2003, the Tompkins/Hayes family now boasts over 1500 parking places. With the addition of new cruise lines over the years, scheduled departures and even the addition of a new Galveston Cruise Terminal on the horizon, the family is employing every technology and innovation available to keep pace with demand. In an effort to keep all of the businesses sharp and on their game, each property competes in the marketplace as its own business entity. “Give customers value and great customer service and they will be loyal customers for life.” All Family members are dedicated to customer satisfaction, but it's not all from their individual desire to serve.
Their drive indeed stems from their own great enthusiasm for cruising.
“We all love to go on cruises,” Mr. Hayes told me. “In fact, my wife Keisha and I were married on the Triumph.” A lasting tribute to the Hayes family love of cruising and cruise parking are their three children. Jason and Keisha’s daughters Tori (13) and Emerson (10) got started early in the business and even have their own booth/nursery at EZ-Cruise Parking added by “Honey” (Cynthia Tompkins), to check in parking customers. Their son (2), Maximus “Cruz” Hayes, received his middle name for the love of setting sail. Jason light-heartedly told me,” If we have another child, their name will most certainly be Parker Hayes…although I’m not sure that Keisha is quite as excited about that as I am…Maximus can be a handful.”
Jason went on, “What can I say? We love parking for a living! We know what a great cruise experience looks like and what important peace of mind we are able to provide our customers by keeping and protecting their vehicles while they are away having fun. We know what that is and we strive to deliver it every day.”
Why Should You Use Our Cruise Parking Services?
The Parking properties are constantly searching for innovation in the cruise Parking Industry. In fact, Jason has gone to great expense adding car chargers for EV’s. So, if you own a Tesla or other EV, you know you will have the “juice” to get home - one headache you would definitely want to avoid at the end of a fun but likely, physically taxing vacation.
Another great feature is “Indoor” parking. Jason corrected me on this. Many in the Industry provide “covered” parking. And while that is great, over 50% of their cruise parking are enclosed from the elements, locked up at the end of the night and even secured for yours’ and your vehicles’ protection.
As many do, the parking properties obviously offer shuttling from parking place to cruise terminal, but during the course of this questioning, Jason provided a really key tip to all Galveston Cruisers. “Get here early.” There are only three entries onto Galveston Island which are geographically quite distant from one another. The most popular entry is the causeway that is fed by the ever construction laden Interstate 45, that is currently undergoing a major freeway widening upgrade from TXDOT. “The worst thing that could happen is missing your departure…. Don’t do it. Instead, come drop your luggage off early at the cruise terminal, go and have breakfast at Miller’s, a bloody Mary and/or excellent seafood at Katie’s, or go shopping for a while on The Strand. Build some Galveston time into your schedule at the beginning and maybe even the end.”
Important Cruise Tips from Jason Hayes
The Parking Properties offer many discount programs including frequent cruiser and seasonal discounts. Sign up today for their email promotions and cruise newsletter at anyone of the sites below or you may decide to go ahead and book cruise parking. The Hayes family are also the pioneers for cruise parking insurance. For only an additional $4.95 you can cancel your reservation at any time. For any occasion where you are booking a trip months or weeks in advance, would you like to know that you are able to cancel your trip for an emergency at any time? It’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.
In closing, I’d like to pass along one last piece of cruise wisdom from Mr. Jason Hayes. When you are deciding whether to order and Uber, Lyft or get a friend to drop you off: consider these factors:
· For about the same price as the cost of an UBER XL, you can be in your own vehicle. “When cruisers come to us, their vehicles are packed to the gills with luggage. For a cruise, each person will pack one large suitcase and typically two or three other carry on size bags, totes, or back packs. That’s a lot of luggage to pack in the five waiting minutes allotted by Uber or Lyft for just a few people before the waiting price increases begin.
· You will be in your own vehicle, on your own schedule, without any additional opportunities for delays. You can get to your terminal ahead of time with no added anxiety brought about by any third party.
· And finally, how nice would it be to know that when you return, you can hop into your own vehicle without the hassles of arranging any third-party transportation. A vacation is supposed to be relaxing. Park it! Don’t allow any third-party arrangements to ruin the time that you are supposed to be recharging.
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